Creative Labs has a long history of delivering remarkable audio hardware for both enthusiasts and hobbyists. With each innovative new product, the company's engineers take audio manufacturing to new levels while maintaining competitive pricing. The newly announced Sound BlasterX AE-5 is the perfect example of the company's commitment to their fans. It's an audiophile-grade piece of tech that incorporates some of the most popular features from their Sound Blaster series of headphone amps into the world’s first sound card with an integrated RGB controller powered by Aurora Reactive Lighting System.
Here are just some highlights straight from Creative's press release:
Xamp Discrete Headphone Amp
Delivering an industry-leading gaming headphone amplification experience, the on-board headphone amplifier is custom-built using discrete transistors and audiophile-grade WIMA® film/foil capacitors in a dual-amp design to satisfy the most demanding needs of today’s intense games and high-resolution audio. Experience the difference of a discrete dual-amp design as each audio channel is individually amplified to deliver pristine, uncompromised audio. Plus, the high heat resistance of the German-made WIMA capacitors greatly reduces noise and audio interference. The Xamp’s ultra low 1Ω output impedance also makes it perfectly capable of driving sensitive in-ear monitors as well as studio-grade headphones from 16Ω to 600Ω.
122dB DNR Sabre-Class DAC with Industry Leading Audio Processing
At the heart of the Sound BlasterX AE-5 sound card is the quad-core Sound Core3D audio DSP and a 122dB ESS Sabre-Class DAC that instantly boosts regular motherboard audio with up to 32 times more clarity. The premium audiophile-grade DAC with its high dynamic range indulges users with up to 32-bit/384kHz lossless playback and true audio fidelity for high-definition audio in games, movies, and music.
The Sound BlasterX AE-5 card is the first sound card to feature a built-in RGB controller that comes with the Aurora Reactive Lighting System. A separate RGB lighting system could set a user back by at least USD 50, but now, this is built into the card itself with the AE-5: giving users amazing value and performance for their system. This also means that valuable space within a gamer’s desktop can be saved for other components.
The RGB controller, powered by Creative’s very own Aurora Reactive Lighting System, not only lights up the card through the PCB, but also gives gamers the flexibility to build their dream gaming rig by connecting up to four LED strips to match the awesome sound with an awesome light show. The fully customizable Aurora Reactive Lighting System allows users to choose from multiple presets or program it with up to 16.8 million colors and various rhythms to choose from, using the Sound Blaster Connect PC software.
All New Scout 2.0 Feature
Scout 2.0 is an upgraded version of the Creative’s well-received Scout Mode feature – Scout 2.0 now also includes Scout Radar.
The sound card is set to release in July, 2017 and will retail for only USD149.99! As someone who has covered most of the company's products, I'm absolutely ecstatic about this release. The RGB lighting system is a nice extra, but I'm especially excited to see all the great features I've enjoyed with Creative's external amps to become a permanent, internal part of our gaming system!